Chapter 7-07
OVERLAY DISTRICTS

Sections:

7-07-010    Groundwater Protection Overlay District

7-07-020    Floodplain Overlay District

7-07-030    Major Commercial Development Overlay District

7-07-040    Residential-Open Space Planning Overlay District

7-07-010 Groundwater Protection Overlay District.

A.    The purpose of the Groundwater Protection Overlay District is:

(1)    To protect, preserve and maintain the existing and potential groundwater supply and groundwater recharge areas within the known aquifers of the town.

(2)    To preserve and protect present and potential sources of water supply for the public health and safety.

(3)    To conserve the natural resources of the town.

B.    Definitions. The following definitions apply to specialized words and terms associated with the Groundwater Protection Overlay District:

(1)    AQUIFER - A geologic formation, group of geologic formations or part of a geologic formation that contains sufficient saturated permeable material to yield significant quantities of water to wells and springs. For purposes of this chapter, only the unconsolidated water-bearing, predominately glacially formed geologic deposits are addressed.

(2)    AREA OF INFLUENCE - The area which experiences drawdown by a pumping well as plotted on a two (2) dimensional (map) surface.

(3)    CONE-OF-DEPRESSION - A three (3) dimensional conical concavity produced in a water table by a pumping well.

(4)    EXISTING CONDITIONS - Conditions as they occur as of the effective date of this chapter (MGL C. 40A, § 6).

(5)    GLACIOFLUVIAL - Pertaining to an unconsolidated geologic deposit, which was formed by or in association with glacial meltwater streams, typically resulting in the deposition of sand- and gravel-sized particles.

(6)    GLACIOFLUVIAL/LACUSTRINE - Pertaining to an unconsolidated geologic deposit which was formed by or in association with the transition zone where glacial meltwater streams flowed into a glacial lake environment, typically resulting in the deposition of sand-, silt- and clay-sized particles in a fining downward sequence. References to such deposits within this chapter refer to the more coarse-grained sediments such as would be associated with a delta.

(7)    GLACIOLACUSTRINE - Pertaining to an unconsolidated geologic deposit which was formed by or in association with a glacial lake environment, typically resulting in the deposition of sand-, silt- and clay-sized particles. References to such deposits within this chapter refer to the fine-grained sediments such as would be associated with lake bottom deposits.

(8)    GROUNDWATER - The subsurface water present in aquifers and recharge areas.

(9)    IMPERVIOUS SURFACE - Material on the ground that prevents surface water from infiltrating into the soil and underlying groundwater system; impermeable.

(10)    LEACHABLE WASTES - Waste materials, including solid wastes, sludge and agricultural wastes, that are capable of releasing waterborne contaminants to the surrounding environment.

(11)    MINING OF LAND - The removal of geologic materials, such as topsoil, sand and gravel, metallic ores or bedrock.

(12)    PRIMARY RECHARGE AREAS - Areas that collect precipitation or surface water and directly transmit it to aquifers or areas of pumping influence.

(13)    PROCESS WASTES - Nondomestic, nontoxic, nonhazardous liquid or solid waste by-products associated with the manufacture or preparation of a product, including but not limited to hardware, dry goods, foodstuffs and printed material.

(14)    RECHARGE - The processes involved in the absorption and addition of water to the zone of saturation; also, the amount of water added.

(15)    RECHARGE AREA - An area in which water is absorbed that eventually reaches the zone of saturation in one (1) or more aquifers.

(16)    SANITARY WASTE - Wastewaters arising from ordinary domestic water use, as from toilets, sinks and bathing facilities, and containing such concentrations and types of pollutants as to be considered normal wastes. For purposes of this chapter, all references to disposable volume(s) of “sanitary wastes” refer to design standards as outlined in Title V of the State Environmental Code (310 CMR 15.00).

(17)    SATURATED THICKNESS - The depth of the saturated zone.

(18)    SATURATED ZONE - The subsurface zone occurring below the water table where the soil pores are filled with water and the moisture content equals the porosity.

(19)    SOLID WASTES - Any discarded solid material, putrescible or nonputrescible, consisting of all combustible and noncombustible solid material, including but not limited to garbage and rubbish.

(20)    TOXIC OR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS - Any substance or mixture of such physical, chemical or infectious characteristics as to pose an actual or potential hazard to water supplies or other hazard to human health if such substance or mixture were discharged to land or waters of this town. “Toxic or hazardous materials” include, without limitation, organic chemicals, petroleum, heavy metals, radioactive or infectious wastes, acids and alkalines, and include products such as pesticides, herbicides, solvents and thinners. Partial listings of hazardous substances include: MGL C. 21C, the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Regulations (310 CMR 30.00) and 314 CMR 3.16.

(21)    WETLANDS - As defined by MGL C. 131, § 40.

C.    Establishment and delineation.

(1)    For the purpose of these districts, there are hereby established within the town certain aquifer protection areas consisting of aquifers, areas of influence and recharge areas. These areas are determined by standard geologic and hydrologic investigations, which may include drilling observation wells, utilizing existing boring data and stratigraphic profiles, conducting seismic surveys or other geophysical techniques, performing pumping tests, water sampling, geologic mapping and computer modeling.

(2)    The boundaries of these districts are delineated on a map at a scale of one (1) inch equals one thousand (1,000) feet, entitled “Zoning Map - Town of Northborough, Massachusetts,” on file in the office of the Town Clerk. These boundaries reflect the best hydrogeologic information available as of the date of this map. In the event of a discrepancy between the map and the criteria of Areas 1, 2 and 3 in subsection (C)(6) of this section, the map shall control.

(3)    Where a Groundwater Protection District boundary line divides a lot in single or common ownership at the time such district is established, a use authorized on the less restricted portion of such lot may be extended into the more restricted portion but in no case for more than fifty (50) feet over the established line; a special permit from the special permit granting authority for said extension shall be required in accordance with subsection (D)(4) of this section.

(4)    Where the bounds as delineated are in dispute, the town or landowner(s) may engage a professional geologist, hydrogeologist or engineer trained and experienced in hydrogeology to determine more accurately the location and extent of the aquifer or recharge protection areas. Amendments to the district boundaries shall only occur per the requirements of MGL C. 40A, § 5.

(5)    The special permit granting authority shall be the Zoning Board of Appeals, except that for wireless communication facilities applications or any applications in the Industrial District, the special permit granting authority shall be the Planning Board. The special permit granting authority shall hear and act upon all cases of appeal and petitions for special permits which are brought under this chapter. The special permit granting authority shall, within five (5) business days of receipt of application of filing, forward to the Groundwater Advisory Committee (consisting of one (1) member each or one (1) designee each from the Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission, Board of Health, Planning Board, and Water/Sewer Commission) five (5) copies of said application or filing. Within sixty-five (65) days of receipt of application or filing, the special permit granting authority shall hold a public hearing. Within twenty-one (21) days following the public hearing, the Groundwater Advisory Committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the special permit granting authority. The special permit granting authority shall render its decision within ninety (90) days of the public hearing.

(6)    The Groundwater Protection Overlay Districts include the aquifer’s significant areas of recharge consisting of:

(a)    Area 1. Area of influence of all existing municipal wells within the town, confirmed by long-term pump test or by stabilized water levels after maximum duration pumping/primary recharge area.

[1]    The cones-of-depression and respective areas of influence and recharge generated by the municipal wells after at least ninety (90) days of continuous pumping at their respective rated capacities or after long-term pumping at their currently utilized capacities (may be based upon computer modeling).

(b)    Area 2. Potential water supply area/primary recharge area.

[1]    Glaciofluvial and/or glaciofluvial/lacustrine deposits with forty (40) feet or greater of saturated thickness.

(c)    Area 3. Primary recharge area.

[1]    Glaciofluvial, glaciofluvial/lacustrine and/or glaciolacustrine deposits with less than forty (40) feet of saturated thickness and upgradient of Areas 1 and/or 2.

D.    Use regulations. The Groundwater Protection Overlay Districts shall be considered as overlying other zoning districts. Any uses permitted in the portions of the underlying districts shall be permitted, subject to all the provisions of this district. Uses not specifically permitted in this chapter (subsection (D)(1) or (3) of this section) shall be prohibited. Where all uses allowed in the underlying district would not be allowed by the overlying Groundwater Protection District, those uses allowed in the Groundwater Protection District shall prevail. Within the Groundwater Protection Overlay Districts, these regulations shall apply:

(1)    The following uses are permitted within the Groundwater Protection Overlay Districts; provided, that all necessary permits, orders or approvals required by local, state or federal law shall have been obtained, and when permitted by the underlying zoning district:

(a)    Area 1.

[1]    Conservation of soil, water, plants and wildlife.

[2]    Outdoor recreation, nature study, boating, fishing and hunting where otherwise legally permitted.

[3]    Landings; foot-, bicycle and/or horse paths; and bridges.

[4]    Proper operation and maintenance of existing dams, splashboards and other water control, supply and conservation devices.

[5]    Agricultural uses: pasture, grazing, hay, gardening, nursery, conservation, forestry and harvesting of crops; provided, that fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other leachable materials are not stored outdoors or in any manner which would permit leakage thereof. The appropriateness of the management practices shall be governed by the United States Department of Agriculture or Soil Conservation Service, the Cooperative Extension Service or Massachusetts Department of Food and Agricultural guidelines use regulations.

[6]    Necessary public utilities/facilities designed so as to prevent contamination of groundwater.

[7]    Residential development of single-family dwellings on lots of at least eighty thousand (80,000) square feet in area, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%), such determination to be made by the Building Department in conjunction with the Town Engineer.

[8]    Agricultural, religious, educational and public services as exempted by MGL C. 40A, § 3.

(b)    Area 2.

[1]    All uses permitted in Area 1 and the following uses to the extent permitted in the underlying district.

[2]    Residential development of single-family dwellings on lots of at least forty thousand (40,000) square feet in area, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%), such determination to be made by the Building Department in conjunction with the Town Engineer.

(c)    Area 3.

[1]    All uses permitted in Areas 1 and 2 above and the following uses to the extent permitted in the underlying district.

[2]    Residential development of single-family dwellings as allowed in the underlying district, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%), such determination to be made by the Building Department in conjunction with the Town Engineer.

[3]    Commercial development limited to retail shopping, business or professional office on lots of at least twenty thousand (20,000) square feet in area, such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than forty percent (40%), the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) and any on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to one hundred ten (110) gallons per day per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area.

(2)    The following uses are prohibited:

(a)    Area 1.

[1]    Land uses resulting in the disposal of any waste material, solid or liquid, other than domestic sanitary wastes.

[2]    Any use (except agricultural, religious, educational and public services as exempted by MGL C. 40A, § 3) involving the sale, storage or transportation of fuel, oil or gasoline, other than a maximum of three hundred (300) gallons of domestic home heating oil.

[3]    Uses (except agricultural, religious, educational and public services as exempted by MGL C. 40A, § 3) which, as part of normal operating or maintenance procedures, would involve the application, transfer, storage or use of toxic or hazardous materials in quantities greater than normal household use.

[4]    The commercial mining of land.

[5]    Dumping of snow brought in from outside Area 1.

[6]    Storage of road salt or deicing chemicals in quantities greater than normal residential use.

[7]    Automotive and boat service and repair shops, junk and salvage yards.

[8]    Anything prohibited in Areas 2 and 3.

(b)    Areas 2 and 3.

[1]    Disposal of solid wastes, other than brush and stumps.

[2]    The on-site disposal of liquid or leachable wastes other than sanitary domestic wastes or innocuous process wastes.

[3]    Uncovered storage of road salt or deicing chemicals.

[4]    The commercial mining of land to an elevation of less than ten (10) feet above the maximum high-water table as established by a monitoring program of groundwater levels in observation wells installed at the owner’s expense by a professional geologist, hydrogeologist or engineer in the proposed location of mining.

[5]    Any activity (except agricultural, religious, educational and public services as exempted by MGL C. 40A, § 3) which involves as a principal or accessory use the manufacture, storage, application, transportation and/or disposal of toxic or hazardous materials where such activity would involve outside storage, on-site waste disposal or uncontrolled drainage facilities which would allow discharge to surface or ground waters.

(3)    The following uses are permitted only under the terms of a special permit issued by the special permit granting authority, are subject to subsection (D)(1) and (2) of this section and must conform to provisions of the underlying zoning district:

(a)    Area 1.

[1]    Expansion of existing nonconforming uses to the extent allowed by the underlying district. The special permit granting authority shall not grant such approval unless it shall find that such expansion shall not be substantially more detrimental to the water supply than the existing use. In no case shall such permit be issued for a prohibited use.

[2]    Two-family and multifamily residential development on lots of at least eighty thousand (80,000) square feet in area, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%) and any on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to fifty-five (55) gallons per day per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area.

[3]    Cluster development, such that developed density over the entire parcel does not exceed one (1) dwelling unit per eighty thousand (80,000) square feet of area, increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%).

[4]    In industrial zones, a change in the use of the building shall require a special permit unless a determination is made by the Inspector of Buildings/Zoning Enforcement Officer, Town Engineer and Town Planner finding that such change in use of the building is not more detrimental to the water supply. In the event a special permit is required, the special permit granting authority shall not grant such approval unless it shall find that such change in use shall not be detrimental to the water supply.

(b)    Area 2.

[1]    Expansion of existing nonconforming uses to the extent allowed by the underlying district. The special permit granting authority shall not grant such approval unless it shall find that such expansion shall not be substantially more detrimental to the water supply than the existing use. In no case shall such permit be issued for a prohibited use.

[2]    Two-family and multifamily residential development on lots of at least forty thousand (40,000) square feet in area, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%) and any on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to one hundred ten (110) gallons per day per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area.

[3]    Cluster development, such that developed density over the entire parcel does not exceed one (1) dwelling unit per forty thousand (40,000) square feet of area, increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%).

[4]    Commercial development limited to retail shopping, business or professional office on lots of at least forty thousand (40,000) square feet in area where sewage disposal is on-site and lots of at least twenty thousand (20,000) square feet where sewage disposal is via municipal sewerage, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%), the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than forty percent (40%) or there is no restriction of lot coverage beyond that provided by underlying zoning where proponent can demonstrate and certify that runoff waters leaving the developed site via surface flow will not violate Class B water quality standards (314 CMR 4.00) and runoff waters leaving the site via groundwater recharge will not violate Class I groundwater quality standards (314 CMR 6.00), and any on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to one hundred ten (110) gallons per day per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area.

[5]    Industrial development on lots of at least sixty thousand (60,000) square feet in area, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%), the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than forty percent (40%) or the lot coverage does not exceed that amount of lot coverage permitted by underlying zoning where proponent can demonstrate and certify, except to the extent of naturally occurring pH and temperature components of surface water quality and groundwater quality standards, that runoff waters leaving the developed site via surface flow will not cause a violation of Class B water quality standards (314 CMR 4.00) and runoff waters leaving the site via groundwater recharge will not cause a violation of Class I groundwater quality standards (314 CMR 6.00), and any on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to one hundred ten (110) gallons per day per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area and any water supply developed on site shall not diminish the total safe yield of any Town of Northborough water supply.

[6]    Commercial or industrial activities which involve as accessory uses the manufacture, storage, application, transportation and/or disposal of toxic or hazardous materials; provided, that there shall be no on-site disposal of any waste or process materials, no outside storage of toxic or hazardous materials, contained drainage facilities in areas of potential spillage or release, adequate contingency plans in case of spillage or release and approved routing of suppliers and haulers of any toxic or hazardous materials to or from the state. The proponent for a building or occupancy permit must demonstrate and certify on an annual basis to the Building Department and Board of Health that all applicable federal, state and Town of Northborough licenses, permits and standards for the handling, use, storage and disposal of any regulated materials have been obtained or met.

[7]    In industrial zones, a change in the use of the building shall require a special permit unless a determination is made by the Inspector of Buildings/Zoning Enforcement Officer, Town Engineer and Town Planner finding that such change in use of the building is not more detrimental to the water supply. In the event a special permit is required, the special permit granting authority shall not grant such approval unless it shall find that such change in use shall not be detrimental to the water supply.

(c)    Area 3.

[1]    Expansion of existing nonconforming uses to the extent allowed by the underlying district. The special permit granting authority shall not grant such approval unless it shall find that such expansion shall not be substantially more detrimental to the water supply than the existing use. In no case shall such permit be issued for a prohibited use.

[2]    Any use involving on-site disposal of process wastes.

[3]    Commercial development as allowed per underlying zoning, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%), the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than forty percent (40%) or there is no restriction of lot coverage beyond that provided by underlying zoning where proponent can demonstrate and certify that runoff waters leaving the developed site via surface flow will not violate Class B water quality standards (314 CMR 4.00) and runoff waters leaving the site via groundwater recharge will not violate Class I groundwater quality standards (314 CMR 6.00), and any on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to two hundred twenty (220) gallons per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area.

[4]    Industrial development on lots of at least sixty thousand (60,000) square feet in area, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%), the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than forty percent (40%) or the lot coverage does not exceed that amount of lot coverage permitted by underlying zoning where proponent can demonstrate and certify, except to the extent of naturally occurring pH and temperature components of surface water quality and groundwater quality standards, that runoff waters leaving the developed site via surface flow will not cause a violation of Class B water quality standards (314 CMR 4.00) and runoff waters leaving the site via groundwater recharge will not cause a violation of Class I groundwater quality standards (314 CMR 6.00), and on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to two hundred twenty (220) gallons per day per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area and any water supply developed on site shall not diminish total safe yield of any Town of Northborough water supply.

[5]    Commercial or industrial activities which involve as accessory uses the manufacture, storage, application, transportation and/or disposal of toxic or hazardous materials; provided, that there shall be no on-site disposal of any waste or process materials, no outside storage of toxic or hazardous materials, controlled/contained drainage facilities in areas of potential spillage or release, adequate contingency plans in case of spillage or release and approved routing of suppliers and haulers of any toxic or hazardous materials to or from the site. The proponent for a building or occupancy permit must demonstrate on an annual basis to the Building Department and Board of Health that all applicable federal, state and Town of Northborough licenses, permits and standards for the handling, use, storage and disposal of any regulated materials have been obtained or met.

[6]    Two-family and multifamily residential development on lots of at least twenty thousand (20,000) square feet in area, such that the increase in post-development net runoff volume shall not exceed existing conditions by more than fifteen percent (15%) or such that the impervious cover of the building lot is increased over existing conditions by no more than fifteen percent (15%) and any on-site sewage disposal is less than or equal to two hundred twenty (220) gallons per day per ten thousand (10,000) square feet of lot area.

[7]    In industrial zones, a change in the use of the building shall require a special permit unless a determination is made by the Inspector of Buildings/Zoning Enforcement Officer, Town Engineer and Town Planner finding that such change in use of the building is not more detrimental to the water supply. In the event a special permit is required, the special permit granting authority shall not grant such approval unless it shall find that such change in use shall not be detrimental to the water supply.

(4)    Procedures for issuance of special permit.

(a)    Each application for a special permit shall include:

[1]    A complete list of all chemicals, pesticides, fuels and other potentially toxic or hazardous materials to be used or stored on the premises in quantities greater than those associated with normal household use, accompanied by a description of measures proposed to protect all storage containers/facilities from vandalism, corrosion and leakage and to provide for control of spills.

[2]    A description of potentially toxic or hazardous wastes to be generated, indicating storage and disposal methods.

[3]    Evidence of approval by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of any industrial waste treatment or disposal system or any wastewater treatment system over fifteen thousand (15,000) gallons per day capacity.

[4]    For underground storage of toxic or hazardous materials, evidence of qualified professional supervision of system design and installation.

[5]    Analysis by a technically qualified expert certifying that the quality and supply of the underlying groundwater resources will not be degraded to the point whereby a hazard to public health or ecological damage results.

(b)    Each application for a special permit shall be filed with the Town Clerk for transmittal to the special permit granting authority and shall be accompanied by nine (9) copies of the plan (minimum scale of one (1) inch equal to one hundred (100) feet). Such special permit shall be granted if the special permit granting authority determines that the intent of this chapter as well as its specific criteria are met. In making such determination, special permit granting authority shall give consideration to the simplicity, reliability and feasibility of the control measures proposed and the degree of threat to water quality which would result if the control measures failed.

(c)    Upon receipt of the special permit application, the Town Clerk shall transmit one (1) copy each to the Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Board of Health and Water and Sewer Commissioners (Groundwater Advisory Committee) for their written recommendations. Failure to respond in writing to the clerk of the special permit granting authority within twenty-one (21) days following public hearing shall indicate approval by said board or committee.

(d)    The special permit granting authority shall hold a hearing, in conformity with the provisions of MGL C. 40A, § 9, within sixty-five (65) days after the filing of the application with the special permit granting authority and after the review of the aforementioned town bodies. Notice of the public hearing shall be given by publication and posting and by first-class mailings to parties in interest, as defined in MGL C. 40A, § 11. The decision of the special permit granting authority and any modification or renewal thereof shall be filed with the Town Clerk within ninety (90) days following the close of the public hearing. Failure of the special permit granting authority to act within ninety (90) days shall be deemed as a granting of the permit. However, no work shall commence until a certification is recorded as required by MGL C. 40A, § 11.

(e)    After notice and public hearing and after coordinating, clarifying and weighing the comments and recommendations of the Groundwater Advisory Committee, the special permit granting authority may grant such a special permit; provided, that it finds that the proposed use:

[1]    Meets the purpose and intent of this chapter and will not derogate from the purpose of the Groundwater Protection Overlay Districts.

[2]    Will not, during construction or thereafter, impair ambient groundwater quality or reduce existing recharge capacity beyond that allowed per this chapter.

[3]    Will not adversely affect the quality or the yield of an existing or potential water supply.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)

7-07-020 Floodplain Overlay District.

A.    General provisions.

(1)    The purpose of the Floodplain Overlay District is to preserve and maintain the groundwater table; to protect the public health and safety and persons and property against the hazards of floodwater inundation; to protect and preserve wildlife habitat; and to protect the community against costs which may be incurred when unsuitable development occurs in swamps, marshes, along watercourses and in areas subject to floods.

(2)    The Floodplain Overlay District shall be considered as overlying other districts. All uses permitted in the Floodplain Overlay District shall conform to uses permitted in the underlying district.

(3)    In the Floodplain Overlay District, there shall be no land filling or dumping and no new construction or extension of existing structures except as provided below, and for all areas designated as floodways, any proposed encroachment in a floodway is prohibited unless certification by a registered professional engineer or architect is provided by the proponent, demonstrating that such encroachment shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the one-hundred-year flood.

(4)    The Floodplain District is established as an overlay district to all other districts. All development in the district, including structural and non-structural activities, whether permitted by right or by special permit, must be in compliance with MGL C. 131, § 40 and with the following:

(a)    Section of the Massachusetts State Building Code which addresses floodplain and coastal high hazard areas;

(b)    Wetlands Protection Regulations, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP);

(c)    Inland Wetlands Restriction, DEP; and

(d)    Minimum Requirements for the Subsurface Disposal of Sanitary Sewage, DEP.

    Any variances from the provisions and requirements of the above referenced state regulations may only be granted in accordance with the required variance procedures of these state regulations.

(5)    All subdivision proposals must be designed to assure that:

(a)    Such proposals minimize flood damage;

(b)    All public utilities and facilities are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage; and

(c)    Adequate drainage is provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards.

(6)    Floodway Data. In Zones A and AE, along watercourses that have not had a regulatory floodway designated, the best available federal, state, local, or other floodway data shall be used to prohibit encroachments in floodways which would result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge.

(7)    Base Flood Elevation Data. Base flood elevation data is required for subdivision proposals or other developments greater than fifty (50) lots or five (5) acres, whichever is the lesser, within unnumbered A zones.

(8)    Notification of Watercourse Alteration. In a riverine situation, the Town Engineer shall notify the following of any alteration or relocation of a watercourse:

(a)    Adjacent communities;

(b)    NFIP State Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 600-700, Boston, MA 02114-2104;

(c)    NFIP Program Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region I, 99 High Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02110.

B.    Prohibited uses. Except as provided in subsections (C) and (D) of this section, all new construction and encroachments including grading, filling, excavating, substantial improvements and other development are prohibited unless:

(1)    A technical evaluation by a registered professional engineer demonstrates that the new construction or encroachment will not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the base flood discharge; and

(2)    It is otherwise allowed by a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals under subsection (D) of this section.

C.    Permitted uses.

(1)    Maintenance and repair of existing structures and improvement of existing structures; provided, that any such improvement is either within the existing structure or above the base flood elevation.

(2)    Maintenance, repair and replacement of existing structures in a driveway or private way or in an associated easement. Structures referred to herein are banks, walls, culverts, bridges or similar structures.

(3)    Any woodland, grassland, wetland, agricultural, horticultural or recreational use of land or water not requiring filling, including parking facilities requiring no permanent structures. Alteration or extension of preexisting nonconforming structures (see Chapter 7-08) shall be designed, placed and constructed to offer a minimum obstruction to the flow of water and shall be firmly anchored to prevent floating away.

(4)    Any activity, construction or installation conducted solely for the purpose of environmental clean-up or remediation, and required or approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

(5)    Driveways across floodplain areas are to be designed so that the existing elevations are not altered in such a way as to decrease the flood control potential of the area or interfere with the flow of water.

D.    Uses permitted by special permit.

(1)    Buildings and sheds accessory to the uses described in subsection (C) of this section, and driveways and roads are permitted on approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with Section 7-03-040. In hearing such applications, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall consider the following, in addition to any other factors it deems pertinent:

(a)    Any such building, structure, driveway or road shall be designed, placed and constructed so as to offer a minimum obstruction to the flow of water; and said building or structure shall be firmly anchored to prevent floating away.

(b)    Such structure shall not be used for sustained human occupancy.

(c)    Such structure shall be designed to protect against damage from inundation by floodwaters, equipment or materials stored therein.

(d)    There shall be no practical alternative means of access, and the Town Engineer has certified that the said driveway or road, if constructed, shall not endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public.

(e)    The proponent has obtained any existing flood elevation data, and it has been reviewed by the Building Inspector for its reasonable utilization toward meeting the elevation or flood proofing requirements of the State Building Code.

(f)    No application approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals shall be considered to supersede the requirements of MGL C. 131, § 40 (Wetlands Protection Act).

(2)    If any land in the Floodplain Overlay District is proven to the satisfaction of the Board of Appeals as being in fact not subject to flooding or not unsuitable because of drainage conditions for any use which would otherwise be permitted if such land were not, by operation of this section, in the Floodplain Overlay District, and said Board finds that the use of such land for any such use will not interfere with the general purpose for which the Floodplain Overlay District has been established and will not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare, the Zoning Board of Appeals may, after a public hearing with due notice, issue a special permit for any such use.

(3)    Any other bylaw or regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, no construction shall be permitted within the Floodplain Overlay District unless the Zoning Board of Appeals determines that all utilities are located, elevated and constructed so as to minimize or eliminate flood damage and that the methods of disposal for sewage, refuse and other wastes and for providing drainage are adequate to reduce flood hazards.

(4)    If a special permit is granted, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall impose such conditions and safeguards as public safety, welfare and convenience may require. Upon completion of any authorized work, an as-built plan, prepared by a registered professional engineer or a registered land surveyor, as appropriate to the data, of all improvements in the Floodplain Overlay District shall be submitted to the Building Inspector and shall specify the elevation of the lowest floor including basement, the elevation to and method by which any structure has been floodproofed and the finished grades of all disturbed areas.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28; 4-25-11 ATM, Art. 33.)

7-07-030 Major Commercial Development Overlay District.

A.    Purposes. The purposes of the Major Commercial Development Overlay District (MCDOD) are to provide options for large-scale commercial development in areas suitable for commercial uses but zoned for industrial uses.

B.    Applicability. The MCDOD is an overlay district superimposed on land in the Industrial District in the vicinity of the Southwest Connector, as shown on the Zoning Map - Town of Northborough, Massachusetts.

C.    Relationship to existing zoning. In the MCDOD, all requirements of the underlying district shall remain in effect except where these regulations provide an alternative to such requirements, in which case these regulations shall supersede. In the event that a proponent wishes to develop in accordance with the regulations hereunder, the rules and regulations of the MCDOD shall apply, and by filing an application for a special permit, site plan review or building permit under this section, the owner shall be deemed to accept and agree to them. Where the provisions of the MCDOD are silent on a zoning regulation that applies in the underlying district, the requirements of the underlying district shall apply.

D.    Use regulations.

(1)    Permitted uses. The following uses shall be permitted in the MCDOD, subject to site plan approval under Section 7-03-050:

(a)    One retail store, up to twenty-five thousand (25,000) square feet of gross floor area.

(b)    Restaurant, excluding alcoholic beverages.

(c)    Personal service establishment.

(d)    Deli, sandwich shop, or pizza shop.

(e)    Professional or business office.

(f)    Uses accessory to a permitted principal use, as regulated by Section 7-05-020(J).

(2)    Uses allowed by special permit. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall serve as special permit granting authority and may grant a special permit, subject to any conditions it may require, for any of the following uses:

(a)    One retail store exceeding twenty-five thousand (25,000) square feet of gross floor area, or two (2) or more retail stores on the same lot.

(b)    Restaurant, including alcoholic beverages.

(c)    Hotel, motel, or conference center.

(d)    Commercial recreation, indoor.

(e)    Commercial amusement.

(f)    Bank or automated teller machine.

(g)    Auto filling or service station.

(h)    Bus stop, sheltered.

(i)    Uses accessory to a principal use allowed by special permit, as regulated by Section 7-05-020(J).

E.    Density and dimensional regulations. The density and dimensional requirements that apply in the Highway Business District shall apply in the MCDOD.

F.    Other requirements.

(1)    All development in the MCDOD shall comply with all applicable site development standards in Section 7-09-020.

(2)    All uses in the MCDOD shall comply with the off-street parking and loading regulations in Section 7-09-030.

(3)    Signs in the MCDOD shall comply with provisions that apply to the Highway Business District in Section 7-09-040.

G.    Special permits. The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a special permit for any use listed under subsection (D)(2) of this section, or a special permit with site plan approval for a development in the MCDOD, subject to any conditions it deems appropriate, upon finding that the proposal meets the criteria for approval in Section 7-03-030 and, where applicable, Section 7-03-050, and the following additional criteria:

(1)    The proposed development will not result in insufficient domestic water pressure or fire flows in off-site locations, based upon review by the Department of Public Works or an outside consultant of a water system impacts analysis submitted by the proponent;

(2)    Major street intersections and roads within a minimum radius of two (2) miles of the boundary of the development will provide sufficient capacity to accommodate current and projected future traffic in a safe and efficient manner;

(3)    Major street intersections affected by the proposed development which currently operate at an acceptable level of service (LOS), defined as LOS “D” or better, will continue to operate under such conditions or better upon completion and occupancy of the project, as determined by an independent review of a traffic impacts analysis submitted by the proponent;

(4)    Adequate traffic improvements are either in place or, as a condition of the special permit, will be required to be constructed and completed prior to or subsequent to the issuance of any certificate of occupancy for any portion of the project in order to satisfy the criteria under subsections (G)(2) and (3) of this section; and

(5)    The proposed development will provide a positive fiscal impact on the town, defined as a development that generates more local revenue than the total cost to the town to provide municipal services to the development, as determined by an independent review of an economic and fiscal impact analysis submitted by the proponent.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)

7-07-040 Residential-Open Space Planning Overlay District.

A.    Purposes. The purposes of the Residential-Open Space Planning Overlay District (ROPOD) are to encourage the preservation of open space by providing for a range of residential uses in exchange for a substantial amount of protected land; to provide flexibility in the development of land in an environmentally sensitive area; to assure that the town has sufficient information to evaluate the impacts of proposed developments; and to encourage innovative concepts for developments that are subject to fewer predetermined requirements and provide more community benefits than those associated with development under the provisions of the underlying zoning.

B.    Applicability. The ROPOD is an overlay district superimposed upon land located in the Residence B district in the vicinity of the Southwest Connector, as shown on the Zoning Map - Town of Northborough, Massachusetts. Within the ROPOD, a tract of land as defined below may be placed in a Planned Residential Development District (PRDD) by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of town meeting, in accordance with MGL C. 40A, § 5. Each PRDD shall be numbered sequentially, such as PRDD-1, PRDD-2, and so forth. Unless land in the ROPOD is placed within a PRDD and a property owner chooses to develop land in accordance with the provisions of a PRDD, the use, density and dimensional regulations shall be those in effect in the underlying Residence B district. In the event that a proponent wishes to develop in accordance with the regulations of a PRDD, the rules and regulations of the PRDD as approved by town meeting shall apply, and by filing an application for a special permit, site plan approval, or building permit under this section, the owner shall be deemed to accept and agree to them.

    A tract of land may be placed in a PRDD if it meets all of the following minimum requirements, unless waived or altered by town meeting vote:

(1)    The proposed site is located within the ROPOD;

(2)    The proposed site contains at least forty (40) acres of land;

(3)    The proposed site has at least two hundred (200) feet of frontage on a street as defined in Section 7-02-040; and

(4)    The Planning Board has conducted a public hearing on the land owner’s proposed concept plan for the site in accordance with the procedures of this section and MGL C. 40A, § 5.

C.    Use regulations. The owner of a qualifying tract of land may propose a PRDD with any of the following uses, which shall be subject to the grant of a special permit from the Planning Board.

(1)    Detached single-family dwelling.

(2)    Attached single-family dwelling or townhouse.

(3)    Multifamily dwelling.

(4)    Assisted living residence.

(5)    Continuing care retirement community.

(6)    The following accessory residential uses:

(a)    Garage or carport accessory to dwellings requiring a special permit.

(b)    Other accessory structure.

(7)    Passive recreation, open space, or conservation.

(8)    Other uses approved at the time of town meeting approval of the PRDD.

D.    Concept plan. A land owner seeking to place property in a PRDD shall submit a concept plan to the Planning Board for review as provided in subsection (E) of this section. The concept plan shall contain a written submission and plans and drawings. The purpose of the concept plan is to identify and describe all of the use, density and dimensional, and other requirements and restrictions that shall apply to development in a proposed PRDD, to the extent that such requirements differ from the requirements governing development in the underlying district. The contents of the concept plan, as may be revised by the owner during the Planning Board’s review process, shall become binding provisions for development in the PRDD upon town meeting’s approval of the PRDD.

(1)    Written submission. The narrative submission shall include all of the following information:

(a)    A description of the site, including assessor’s parcel identification number(s), total area in square feet, and total developable area in square feet;

(b)    The specific uses proposed for inclusion in the PRDD, which may be any of the uses listed under subsection (C) of this section;

(c)    The specific density and dimensional provisions proposed for the PRDD, including provisions for each type of dimensional requirement in Section 7-06-020 and the following additional requirements:

[1]    Maximum number of dwelling units to be constructed in the PRDD,

[2]    Maximum ratio of gross floor area of all buildings and structures to the total developable area of the site, and

[3]    Maximum ratio of impervious surfaces to the total developable area of the site;

(d)    The proposed maximum number of off-street parking and loading spaces, and the proposed number of parking spaces per dwelling unit by unit type;

(e)    A traffic analysis prepared by a certified professional traffic operations engineer registered as a professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including:

[1]    Traffic counts on existing streets that provide access to the proposed PRDD, showing data for average daily traffic (ADT) and a.m. and p.m. peak periods,

[2]    Intersection turning movement counts at intersections most likely to be affected by development in the proposed PRDD,

[3]    An inventory of roadway characteristics, such as but not limited to the width of existing streets that provide access to proposed PRDD and the presence or absence of public sidewalks on those streets,

[4]    Estimated trip generation showing the projected inbound and outbound vehicular trips for the a.m. and p.m. peak periods and typical one (1) hour off-peak trip generation, based on the most recent edition of the Institute of Traffic Engineers, Trip Generation,

[5]    The estimated distribution of new trips by approach streets,

[6]    The effect of additional PRDD-generated traffic on the level of service (LOS) on each approach street and at intersections likely to be affected by the proposed development, and

[7]    Estimated off-street parking and loading requirements and time of peak accumulation;

(f)    An analysis of the environmental impacts of development in the proposed PRDD, in general terms, considering wetlands, surface water and groundwater resources, wildlife habitat, air quality, and scenic views;

(g)    An analysis of the public benefits of the proposed PRDD, such as but not limited to the amount of open space to be preserved, the inclusion of affordable housing, the sustainable design elements of the proposed concept plan, the amount of tax revenue to be generated by development in the PRDD compared with the town’s cost to provide municipal and school services to the development, or other benefits as may be applicable to a particular site or project;

(h)    A complete, specific list and description of all provisions in this bylaw with which the proposed PRDD will not comply, which list shall not be limited to the use and dimensional regulations of the underlying district;

(i)    A current list of all abutters within three hundred (300) feet of the boundaries of the proposed PRDD, as certified by the assessor’s office; and

(j)    Any additional specifications the owner wishes to propose for the PRDD, which specifications shall be binding to the same extent as the required specifications described above;

(2)    Plans and drawings. The concept plan submission shall include the following plans and drawings:

(a)    A map showing the boundaries of the proposed PRDD, with dimensions, together with identification of adjacent streets and other information needed to understand the location of the proposed district;

(b)    A plan or plans showing the information required for an open space-residential development special permit under Section 7-10-010(J)(4), as applicable, and the following additional requirements:

[1]    Preliminary building plans, showing building types and their approximate locations, and floor plans and typical elevations to scale, for all proposed buildings and structures,

[2]    Existing and proposed utilities, including water mains, fire hydrants, sanitary sewers, and storm drains adjacent to the land or to which the proposed development will be connected,

[3]    The areas or approximate delineation of lots that will be used as building areas, and the areas or approximate delineation of lots that are to remain as permanent open space,

[4]    The yard setback in feet for buildings and parking lots from lot lines and, where applicable, a zoning district boundary;

(c)    Any additional drawings which the land owner wishes to include for the proposed PRDD; provided, that such additional drawings shall be binding to the same extent as the required drawings.

E.    Concept plan submission procedures.

(1)    The proponent wishing to place land in a PRDD is encouraged to meet with the Planning Board prior to submitting a concept plan. The purpose of the pre-submission meeting is to solicit guidance from the Planning Board about the scope and level of detail to be shown in the concept plan.

(2)    The proponent shall submit thirteen (13) complete copies of the concept plan to the Town Clerk at least twenty-one (21) days before the date of the Planning Board hearing concerning a duly filed petition to place the tract of land in a PRDD. The proponent shall distribute a complete copy of the concept plan to each of the Town Clerk, Board of Selectmen, Planning Board (five (5) copies), Town Planner, Town Engineer, DPW Director, Board of Health Agent, Police Department, and Fire Department.

(3)    Once submitted to the Planning Board, the concept plan shall not be amended except in accordance with this section. A concept plan may be amended in writing, signed by the proponent, if filed with the Town Clerk and the Planning Board at least five (5) days before the date of the town meeting at which the PRDD is to be considered; provided, that such amendment has been approved by the Planning Board, as evidenced by certification of the same by the Clerk of the Planning Board, as shown on the concept plan amendment.

(4)    The Planning Board will approve an amendment only if it finds that there is good cause for the proposed change and that the change is not inconsistent with information presented at the Planning Board public hearing. The concept plan may also be amended by town meeting, if determined by the town moderator to be within the scope of the article.

F.    Concept plan public hearing. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing about the proposed creation of a PRDD in accordance with MGL C. 40A, § 5. The public hearing notice shall be in accordance with MGL C. 40A, § 5 and in a form approved by the Planning Board. At minimum, the notice shall contain a description of the concept plan in a form sufficient for the public to understand the proposed PRDD, and shall identify the locations at which complete copies of the concept plan may be inspected prior to town meeting. The proponent shall pay the cost of providing complete copies of the concept plan for placement in said locations, and for publication of the public hearing notice.

G.    Town meeting. The concept plan shall be presented to town meeting and shall be identified specifically in any motion to establish the PRDD.

H.    Special permit with site plan approval. The Planning Board may grant a special permit with site plan approval for the development of land within the PRDD, subject to any conditions it may require. The following procedures and decision criteria shall apply in the PRDD.

(1)    Application. The application for a special permit with site plan approval shall be filed with the Planning Board under Section 7-03-050. The application shall include a copy of the concept plan approved by town meeting, and shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Planning Board. The site plan submission shall contain sufficient information for the Planning Board to render a decision under Section 7-03-050 and subsection (H)(3) of this section. No application shall be deemed complete without payment of fees by the proponent as determined by the Planning Board.

(2)    Public hearing. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing in accordance with MGL C.40A, §§ 9 and 11, and Section 7-03-040 of this bylaw. The public hearing notice shall contain a description of the site plan sufficient for the public to understand the proposed development and identify locations at which the special permit application may be reviewed.

(3)    Decision. The Planning Board shall grant a special permit if it determines that the definitive site plan submission:

(a)    Is consistent with the concept plan approved as part of the vote to establish the PRDD at town meeting, in that the definitive plan does not exceed the density and dimensional requirements and other restrictions included in the concept plan, or contain any uses other than the uses presented in the concept plan, or provide less than the minimum common open space presented in the concept plan;

(b)    Provides for a suitable development in harmony with the general purposes and intent of this bylaw and not detrimental to the neighborhood or to the town, and which meets the requirements of Section 7-03-050 for a special permit with site plan approval, including without limitation the decision criteria set forth in Section 7-03-050(C)(2);

(c)    Provides that any land shown in the approved concept plan as permanent open space shall be conveyed in accordance with MGL C. 40A, § 9; provided, that if the land is conveyed to an entity other than the town, the town shall have sufficient rights to enable it to enforce compliance with the restrictions imposed by the Planning Board as conditions of its special permit; and

(d)    Satisfies the following additional design standards and criteria:

[1]    Insofar as practicable, the site shall be preserved in its natural state by minimizing tree and soil removal, and manmade features such as stone walls shall be maintained with minimal alteration or disruption;

[2]    The development shall maintain or enhance the character and appearance of the town. Awareness of the existence of a development, particularly a higher-density development, shall be minimized by screening views of the development from nearby streets or single-family neighborhoods by the effective use of existing land forms, or alterations thereto, such as berms, and by existing vegetation or supplemental planting;

[3]    Wherever possible, the common open space shall be contiguous and linked as a unit, and linked to other existing open space;

[4]    Without specifying any particular architectural style, the scale, massing and detailing of buildings should be compatible with other buildings prevalent in the neighborhood. Where a multifamily development is located adjacent to a neighborhood of single-family dwellings, the massing scheme and selection of exterior materials for buildings shall be complementary to a single-family neighborhood;

[5]    The disturbance, removal or substantial alteration of buildings of historic or architectural significance shall be minimized;

[6]    Buildings shall be located harmoniously with the land form, vegetation and other natural features of the site, effectively for solar and wind orientation for energy conservation, and advantageously for views from the building while minimizing intrusion on views from other buildings;

[7]    Buildings and their adjoining grounds shall permit safe, efficient access and operation by public safety personnel and equipment;

[8]    Where applicable, the development shall provide sufficient traffic mitigation to maintain or improve the existing level of service on nearby roadways and intersections affected by the development, as determined by the Planning Board based on its review of the traffic analysis;

[9]    Where applicable, improved access, or the development of additional links or connectors, shall be made to existing public facilities and services such as conservation areas, recreation facilities, sidewalks or bicycle paths, streets, transportation systems, or utility systems;

[10]    The development provides for an internal system of routes for pedestrians, including bicycles, with minimal conflicts with vehicles, where feasible;

[11]    The location of intersections with primary and secondary streets shall be such as to minimize traffic congestion;

[12]    Utilities shall be underground or as inconspicuous as possible; and

[13]    Facilities such as storage, refuse disposal, utility buildings, and structures for recreational activities shall be located and screened to minimize visibility from public ways and adjacent residential areas.

I.    Special permit and site plan revisions. Changes involving uses not permitted by the concept plan approved by town meeting or which are not substantially consistent with that plan, or which are otherwise not permitted by this section, may be made only by revision of the concept plan and approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of town meeting.

J.    Use variances. No use variances shall be granted in the ROPOD or within that portion of the Residence B District included within the ROPOD.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)